Our Company Blog
What’s the biggest danger your chimney faces? Many people assume that a chimney fire is the biggest risk your chimney faces. In fact, chimney water damage is far more of a threat. Water damage to your chimney can cause cracks and leaks, and even deteriorate your chimney to the point of threatening its structural integrity. Water is so damaging to a chimney, in fact, that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has declared water chimney’s No. 1 enemy and cautions homeowners to do all they can to protect their chimney’s from water damage. Here are some things you can do to keep your chimney safe.
Put a cap on your chimney.
All chimneys should be outfitted with a chimney cap. A chimney cap shelters your chimney’s flue from falling precipitation. Without a chimney cap in place, water can flow down into your chimney every time it rains, causing damage to your chimney flue and creating damaging puddles in the bottom of your chimney. Installing a chimney cap is the CSIA’s primary recommendation from protecting your chimney from water damage.
Check your chimney crown.
In addition to a chimney cap, a chimney crown helps to prevent water from entering your chimney flue. However, many chimney crowns are improperly constructed from the wrong materials. A chimney crown should slope downward away from the opening of the chimney flue to direct water down away from the chimney flue opening. Your certified chimney sweep can check your chimney crown to verify that it’s been properly constructed to protect your chimney.
Address chimney damage immediately.
Chimney damage leads to more chimney damage. Cracks in your chimney’s masonry or in your chimney crown allows water to gain further access to your chimney and cause more damage. If you notice cracks in your chimney or chimney crown, if you notice that mortar has become soft and begun to crumble away, or if you notice signs that water is leaking into your home in or around your chimney, have the chimney inspected and repaired as soon as possible to prevent water from damaging your chimney or your home further.
Have your chimney waterproofed.
One of the best preventative measures you can take to protect your chimney from water damage is to have your chimney waterproofed. Masonry materials are porous; they naturally absorb water, which can cause chimney damage. A chimney waterproofing solution can block 99 percent of water from entering your chimney while still allowing your chimney’s masonry to breath and exhaust the smoke and moisture created by your fireplace. Waterproofing your chimney can help keep your chimney protected from water damage for years.
Water can seriously damage your chimney. That damage can spread to your home, and it can compromise the integrity of your chimney, putting your home at risk for smoke or fire damage. A to Z Chimney Services can help keep your chimney and your home safe from water damage. Call today to schedule an appointment to have your chimney inspected to determine if it’s at risk for water damage!
Protecting your chimney from water damage can be nearly impossible. Chimneys are most often constructed from porous masonry materials, which draw in and hold moisture, and they extend above the roofline of your chimney, completely unprotected from the elements. The only way to be sure that water isn’t doing damage to your chimney is by sealing it off from moisture with a specialized waterproofing treatment.
Water damage and your chimney
Water leaking in through your chimney can wreak havoc on your chimney and your home. Damages from water can weaken your chimney’s structure, as the moisture causes bricks and mortar to crumble. Moisture retained in chimney masonry can stain the exterior of your chimney, turning the masonry blue, green or black. Inside your chimney, water can cause damage to the chimney liner, and it can cause metal components of your fireplace and chimney system, such as the damper, fireplace grate and fireplace doors to rust and warp. In the heat of the summer, a damp chimney can stink, filling your entire home with an unpleasant odor.
When water penetrates your chimney, it doesn’t only endanger the chimney and fireplace system; it can do damage to your home. Water seeping in through your chimney can cause the support beams in your home to warp and rot. It can cause mold to grow on your roof and walls, and in your attic. Water leaking into your home through the chimney can warp walls and ceilings, and cause staining, warping and sagging. It can cause paint, wallpaper or ceiling plaster to peel away.
Protecting your chimney with waterproofing
Because of how damaging water can be to your chimney and your home, we recommend protecting your chimney with ChimneySaver Water Repellant! Once applied to your chimney, ChimneySaver Water Repellant prevents 99.9 percent of water from entering your chimney’s masonry. At the same time, ChimneySaver lets your chimney’s masonry breathe, allowing 100 percent of the water vapor that can form when your fireplace is in use to exit as it normally would through your chimney’s masonry. That means that, unlike other water sealants, ChimneySaver won’t trap moisture in your chimney!
ChimneySaver also provides protection that lasts. When applied properly, ChimneySaver Water Repellant continues to protect your chimney’s masonry from water for 10 years!
Schedule your ChimneySaver Water Repellant application today!
Water can cause major damage to your chimney and your home, which is why we recommend protecting your chimney with ChimneySaver Water Repellant. Don’t let jeopardize the health of your chimney’s masonry, your fireplace and your home’s structure! Have ChimneySaver applied to your chimney to keep it safe from the dangers of water penetration. Call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your waterproofing today!
Have you been told that your chimney is in need of repair? Have you noticed that your chimney is looking worse for the wear? You might be wondering when is the best time to have your chimney repaired? That time is now!
There are several reasons spring is ideal for scheduling chimney repairs, including:
• Warmer, dryer weather. The No. 1 reason spring is the best time for chimney repairs is warmer, dryer weather. Many chimney repairs, particularly masonry repairs, cannot ideally be performed in cold or wet weather. As cold winter weather yields to sunny spring days, you can finally have your chimney damage taken care of.
• The frequency of winter chimney damage. No season is harder on your chimney than winter. During the winter, your chimney deals with the excess heat of your fireplace. Winter brings a lot of wet weather and colder temperatures. All of those extreme conditions can lead to a host of chimney problems. If your chimney has suffered damage over the winter months, you will want to have your chimney repaired as soon as possible. That makes spring ideal for chimney repairs.
• Easier scheduling. Chimney companies’ schedules fill up fast once cooler weather hits. When you schedule your chimney repairs in the spring, you have the best chance of having your chimney repairs scheduled and completed quickly. That means you won’t have to worry that you won’t have to miss out on enjoyment of your fireplace this fall because you’re still waiting for your chimney repairs.
To have necessary chimney repairs completed this spring, you should know what chimney repairs you need. That’s why it’s a good idea to perform a quick visual inspection of your fireplace and chimney each spring. Once the weather clears up, examine the exterior of your chimney.
Look for cracks, crumbling or gaps in the masonry, discoloration or rust on the sides of the chimney and any signs of leaning or misalignment in the chimney. If you are able to access chimney rooftop, or to view it from the ground or a window, check to make sure your chimney cap remains undamaged and in place, your chimney crown or chase cover is free from damage and your flashing remains snug against the base of your chimney and doesn’t have any cracks or signs of corrosion. Inside your home, you will want to check for cracks in the firebox, rust on the damper, fireplace doors or fire grate and signs of water damage on the walls and ceiling surrounding the chimney.
Because spring is the ideal time for chimney repairs, it’s also the ideal time for a chimney sweeping and inspection.
If you schedule your chimney inspection for the spring, hire a certified chimney sweep. They will be able to spot any repairs your chimney or fireplace will need to undergo before the next fire-burning season. A spring inspection ensures plenty of time to have your chimney repaired and ready for the fall.
If you need chimney repairs or would like to have your chimney inspected by a professional this spring, call 916-850-2446 today!
November ushers in the start of the holiday season. That means hectic schedules filled with shopping, family gathering and parties. It also means chillier nights spent gathered around the warm glow of your hearth. If you haven’t had your annual chimney sweeping and inspection yet, your busy holiday schedule could prevent you from enjoying your fireplace. Have your chimney swept now, before your schedule gets in the way, so your fireplace is ready for your holiday gatherings and chilly nights spent at home!
Don’t risk lighting a fire before your chimney has been cleaned and inspected.
Home fires caused by chimneys and fireplaces cause an average of 22,300 home fires each year, resulting in $97 million in damage and 20 deaths, according to statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In most cases, chimney fires could have been prevented with a chimney sweeping and inspection.
The sweeping itself removes hazardous materials, such as creosote, animal nests or debris, that can ignite when the fireplace is in use. The inspection can locate weaknesses in the chimney structure or fireplace that could lead to a home fire. That’s why the National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys should be swept and inspected annual to lower the risk of a home fire. Ideally, you should have your chimney swept and inspected before you light your first fire of the season.
In addition to dramatically reducing your risk of a chimney or house fire, your annual chimney sweeping and inspection can help protect your family from dangerous carbon monoxide. Blockages within the chimney or malfunctions in your fireplace can cause carbon monoxide to build up within your home, putting your family and your pets at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Your chimney sweeping will make sure your chimney is free from obstructions, and during your inspection, your chimney sweep will check to make sure your fireplace or heating stove is functioning properly.
Schedule your chimney sweeping with A to Z Chimney Services today!
Get your chimney ready for the holiday season by scheduling your annual sweeping and inspection with A to Z Chimney Services. When you hire our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps to service your chimney and fireplace, you can trust that you are getting well-trained professionals who will properly care for your chimney and your home.
Every one of our chimney sweepings ends with a ChimScan video chimney inspection, so you can be confident that your chimney is free from debris and free from any structural weaknesses that could put your home at risk. If there is a problem with your chimney, you will be able to see it clearly on the inspection video, and our sweeps will be able to help you find the right strategy for addressing any problems with your fireplace or chimney. And our no-mess guarantee means that you won’t have to worry about cleaning up after our sweeps.
Enjoy your fireplace without worry this holiday season. Call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your chimney sweeping and inspection today!
As summer officially draws to a close, it means one thing: Fall’s cooler temperatures soon will be upon us, and you will be ready to light the first fire of winter before you know it. Be ready for the coming winter by scheduling your chimney inspection with A to Z Chimney Services!
The importance of your chimney inspection
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that homeowners have their chimneys and heating appliances cleaned and inspected annually. The general rule of thumb is to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected between fire-burning seasons. That means if you haven’t had your chimney swept and inspected since your last fire of the spring, you should have it inspected before your light the first fire of fall.
During your chimney inspection, your chimney sweep will do several things, including:
- Checking the chimney’s creosote levels. Dirty chimneys are a leading cause of chimney fires, and as little as 1/8 inch of creosote buildup can lead to a dangerous and damaging chimney fire. Your sweep will use their specialized brushes to remove any creosote that has accumulated on the walls of your chimney.
- Making sure that the chimney is free from obstructions. Animals, birds and debris like branches and leaves can lead to blockages in the chimney that can ignite and cause a chimney fire or that can cause smoke or carbon monoxide to build up within a home. Your sweep will make sure that your chimney is free from any blockages.
- Looking for leaks, cracks or other chimney deficiencies. Cracks, holes or other weaknesses in your chimney can lead to a host of problems. They can allow water to leak in through your chimney, damaging the chimney’s or your home’s structure. Cracks can also allow the heat of your chimney to escape and damage the surrounding studs and supports in your home’s walls. Your sweep will look for the early signs of chimney damage so it can be repaired before your home or chimney is in need of major repairs.
- Evaluating your fireplace or heating stove. Just like chimneys, fireplaces can break down over time or face malfunctions that could put your home in danger of a fire or of a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. During your inspection, your chimney sweep also will check your fireplace and all of its working components to look for deficiencies, signs of damage or malfunctioning parts to make sure that it will be working safely and efficiently in the coming cold-weather season.
Fall’s colder temperatures will be upon us before you know it, and you will want to have your fireplace ready to warm your home. Waiting to schedule your inspection could leave you waiting for a sweep or waiting to schedule needed repairs. If you haven’t already had your chimney and fireplace inspected, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule an appointment today!
If you see signs of damage on your chimney, don’t wait until fall approaches to call your chimney sweep. Have your chimney repaired this summer! Chimney repairs can take some time, and chimney companies’ schedules fill up quickly in late summer and early fall. If you wait too long to schedule your chimney repairs, your chimney won’t be ready when temperatures drop, and you will miss the first opportunities to light a fire this fall.
There are other reasons to schedule your chimney repairs this summer! If your chimney’s masonry is in need of repairs, summer is the optimal time to address those repairs. Masonry materials need warmer weather to cure properly, and repairs may not be able to be undertaken if temperatures drop too low or if rainy weather hits. Summer repairs also can save your chimney from further damage. Leaking flashing, missing or damaged chimney caps, deteriorating mortar or chimney crowns, and spalling bricks all can allow more water to seep into your chimney or your home’s structure. Having those repairs taken care of now can save you the headache and cost of more extensive repairs later.
If your chimney needs to be repaired, A to Z Chimney Services can help!
We can repair any of your chimney problems, including:
- Cracked or spalling bricks,
- Crumbling mortar,
- Deteriorating or improperly constructed chimney crown,
- Leaking flashing,
- Rusting dampers,
- Damaged flues, and
- Missing or damaged chimney caps or spark arrestors.
In addition to traditional masonry chimneys, we can repair your prefabricated chimney! Regardless of which make and model of prefabricated chimney you have, we can find the right parts and make needed repairs to have your chimney repaired and safe for your fall fires.
A to Z Chimney Services also can help with preventative chimney maintenance. Summer is the perfect time to have your chimney swept and inspected to identify any chimney problems in time to have those problems addressed before you are ready to light your first fall fire. We also can help you take steps to protect your chimney from future damage. We can install a top-sealing damper atop your chimney’s flue to stop drafts and water from making their way down your chimney. We can apply a chimney waterproofing solution to block water from penetrating your chimney’s masonry and causing damage.
This summer, take a walk around your chimney to see if you can notice any visible damage, such as cracked or missing bricks, or a rusting chimney cap, or call to schedule a chimney inspection to make sure you don’t have any hidden issues lurking within or atop your chimney. If you want to repair and prepare your chimney for the fall fire burning season, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your repairs, consultation or inspection today!